Estimating future costs for Alaska public infrastructure at risk from climate change

  • Larsen P
  • Goldsmith S
  • Smith O
 et al. 
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Abstract

This analysis reports on the projected cost of Alaska's public infrastructure at risk from rapid climate change. Specifically, we coupled projections of future climate with engineering rules of thumb to estimate how thawing permafrost, increased flooding, and increased coastal erosion affect annualized replacement costs for nearly 16,000 structures. We conclude that climate change could add $3.6-$6.1 billion (+10% to +20% above normal wear and tear) to future costs for public infrastructure from now to 2030 and $5.6-$7.6 billion (+10% to +12%) from now to 2080. These estimates take into account different possible levels of climate change and assume agencies strategically adapt infrastructure to changing conditions. In addition to implementing a risk-based economic analysis of climate change impacts, this research effort demonstrates that implementing plausible adaptation strategies could offset impacts by up to 45% over the long-run. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Alaska
  • Arctic
  • Climate change
  • Costs
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Erosion
  • GCM
  • Infrastructure
  • Permafrost
  • Risk
  • Vulnerability

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